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By ESPN Staff
Feb 15, 2007

Madrid presidential candidate backs down in legal row

MADRID, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Real Madrid presidential candidate Juan Miguel Villar Mir has decided not to appeal a judge's ruling that the postal votes in last July's election were null and void.

Spanish media reported a large number of the 10,511 votes that were excluded had been for Villar Mir, who lagged winner Ramon Calderon by 1,642 in the poll. He was considered the candidate most likely to contest the ruling.

'I could appeal the decision but it would be a lengthy process and would extend the instability at Real Madrid for another one, or two years,' Villar Mir told a news conference on Thursday.

'I ask the club to call new elections at the end of this season. It is important they have elections soon because these club members (who used the postal vote system) need to be allowed to vote.'

Earlier this month, Judge Milagros Aparicio agreed with Calderon's view that there were insufficient controls to guarantee the legitimacy of the postal vote.

Calderon was declared president after a controversial and bitter election campaign in which he received 8,344 votes, just 246 more than Juan Palacios. Villar Mir was third.